Beijing has taken delivery of four Sukhoi Su-35 fighters: the first installment in an acquistion that will see it receive 24 examples.

News of the jets' arrival in China was revealed in a report by state news organ China Daily.

The report, citing the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, claimed that Moscow was apparently “eager to complete the Su-35 deal” owing to the “commissioning” of the Chengdu J-20 fighter, which made its public debut with a flying display at Airshow China in Zhuhai in November 2016. Negotiations between Beijing and Moscow for the Su-35 deal dragged on for several years prior to this point.

The Su-35 (below) represents the latest version of the venerable Flanker-series of thrust-vectoring fighters. The new model adds the Tikhomirov Irbis-E passive phased array radar and a modern cockpit.

Su-35 Zhuhai 2014 - Rex Features


China Daily says this is the last time that Beijing will obtain advanced fighters from overseas, given the technological strides it is making with developing them at home.

China’s primary fighter focus resides in the J-20 (below). This aircraft, which first appeared in 2010, is a large, twin-engined jet boasting canards and twin, canted tails. Social media reports from China have covered its flight test campaign exhaustively. Reportedly it has entered low-rate initial production.

J-20 Zhuhai - Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock

Xinhua News Agency/REX/Shutterstock